Bali: the lone Hindu island in a vast Muslim archipelago, home to over 20,000 temples, including Uluwatu, home to vicious hordes of flip-flop eating monkeys (no, really!) and all manner of Instagram-ready tourist attractions like rice terraces, water palaces (we saw two gorgeous ones: Tirta Gangga and Gunung Kawi), an ATV ride I’m still recovering from, a Batik class that we can’t wait to try at home, a traditional village where weavers and scribes keep their traditions going, another Balinese tradition: Legong Dance, which has to be seen to be believed.
Also, several Balinese cities including Sanur, a peaceful beachfront town where the kids got Scuba certified, the hippie mountain haven of Ubud, and the quaint fishing village of Amed, where we stayed at the amazing hotel belonging to an old friend, making lots of new friends in the process. Also, a Kids’ Corner essay on Neypi, the Balinese New Year where the whole island shuts down and literally pretends not to be at home. (No, really!)
Komodo National Park, a couple islands over from Bali: Flores Island, where we boarded a dive boat filled with an international cast of characters for our first dive trip as a family, and also saw some dragons. These slobbering, vicious creatures might shake your belief in a benevolent creator. (No, really!)